Category CHEM P01 Do Essential Oils Work

Abstract Do essential oils work? How do they work and what can they be used

for? These are some of the questions explored in this science project.

Essential oils are compounds, complex chemical substances and have

been used for thousands of years to fight bacteria and mold.

Experiments were performed to test essential oils with both bacteria and

bread mold. This was done to determine whether certain essential oils

have antibacterial and/or antifungal properties.

Certain essential oils were made to be tested on bacteria and bread

mold. These consisted of the same kinds as the ones which were

purchased from Whole Foods Store and a pharmacy. They were basil,

cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemongrass, nutmeg, and vanilla. After

these essential oils were made, all of the oils the homemade and the

store-bought ones were tested on agar plates swabbed with bacteria.

Some essential oils were also tested on bread mold swabbed on agar

plates. The bread mold was only tested with cinnamon, clove, lavender,

lemongrass, and vanilla. None of the store-bought essential oils were

tested with the bread mold.

The homemade essential oils mostly worked better; preventing the

growth of bacteria on agar plates, while the purchased ones generally

did not work as well. Some essential oils performed better than others.

Lavender essential oils worked well on both mold and bacteria. The

growth of mold was also somewhat prevented by the lemongrass

essential oil.

Some essential oils have antifungal properties which can help with

infections caused by fungi, which have become hard to treat with

medicine. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils

can allow them to be used instead of medicines such as antibiotics

when these medicines cannot be used.

Bibliography Cavanagh, H. M., and J M. Wilkinson. "Biological Activities of Lavender

Essential Oil.", Wiley InterScience, 20 Mar. 2002.

Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.Liakos, Ioannis L., Mohamed H. Abdallatif,

Claudia Innocenti, Alice Scarpellini, and Riccardo Carzino.

"Antimicrobial Lemongrass Essential Oil - Copper Ferrite Cellulose

Acetate Nanocapsules.", Molecules,

20 Apr. 2016. Accessed 8 Dec.

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